Vinyl in charity shops

In Brighton a couple of years ago I saw a large bank that was now Paddy Power.
Is it called a change of use?

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That may be the case with some, and indeed I recall some public noises maybe 20-30 years ago about one or two, though IIRC at that point there was a shake-up and senior staff got less with more then going to the charity. I won’t mention the name that comes to mind in case it is tge wrong one, but again IIRC the shake-up was followed by other charities. Of course things may have drifted back since. However it varies from charity to charity: One I support, getting my stuff to sell in their shop, is our local hospice - I’m not sure the charity shop side has any paid staff at all, and I’ve seen adverts for full time qualified staff for the hospice, with nothing excessive in the salaries

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I get your point Bob, but the charity shops are mostly staffed by volunteers (many of them retirees) and they won’t have the skills or knowledge to grade or value the records properly. I’m guessing the charities feel it is quicker and easier to pass on to dealers, even if there’s a margin hit. And in the case of really rare stuff, most collectors will shop at pro dealers, not charity shops.

Often for a peppercorn rent, or sometimes even – in the case of sites owned by local authorities – free of charge.

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As an Oxfam volunteer who does vinyl it’s about three- way fair value for the charity, the customer and (often overlooked) the donor.

We certainly don’t sell directly to dealers unless they come in as ordinary customers. Almost everything goes into the shop first before putting on-line (exceptions are special interest high value stuff that is very unlikely to sell locally) - there is some self-interest here as good well presented stock often leads to good donations.

We do get a lot of easy listening donations (sometimes from dealers who don’t want the cost of disposal). There is no point in putting them out. In my 7 years I have never sold a Richard Clayderman , Mantovani , Klaus Wunderlich etc etc. I have started putting out Herb Alpert again as they have appeared on this forum.


In my experience very few vinyl buyers are poor. We have some regulars who are clearly just on state pensions or in sheltered accommodation with pocket money. We look after them on the QT - although they are more likely to want a Dusty Springfield album than an LZ 1 first press!

Some fact-checking on CEO salaries. Most of the large charities are £100 - £150k; smaller a lot less. A lot of money yes but as you point out for running large complex organisations often with overseas delivery. This is large secondary head teacher not banker - Barclays CEO £2.7 m + significant bonus.

The actual expenditure figures for Oxfam are 83p in the £ spent on charitable work. 10p on administration and 7p on fund raising.


I think most of us are having to tighten our belts generally these days, or at least re-appraising certain items as they become more expensive. I have several items ordered in Amazon’s recent sale sat in a ‘locker’ awaiting collection but I’m not sure I really need them so they may just go back. Nearly ordered a dicounted lawn scarifier/aerator yesterday, fortunately the delivery date slipped as I dithered and I just thought it can wait as it’s not currently an essential item I am likely to use in coming weeks.

There are probably lots of vinyl buyers who aren’t wealthy either, especially younger generations who may be fuelling some of the vinyl ‘revival’.

My initial comments don’t relate to wanting to scour charity shops for rare or high-value items ‘on the cheap’, I’d just like to find something that interests me I’m likely to play - that would be the intent not to sell it on at vast profit, and finding something that both appeals to me and gives a few quid to the charity seems fair.

I’d often like to find another copy of older albums which have seen better days, either as they pre-dated me having a decent turntable or because they may have been damaged in some way or had a pressing flaw I put up with. A cat once mauled the sides of several albums on a shelf in a small flat when I left the outer door open as it determined the LPs vere a nice scratching post. It might be nice to find some tidier replacement covers even if the album itself might be worse than my copy.

There are also many albums I never bought on release, mainly because I was at school or University with less pocket money/cash for music so I was selective and only bought real known favourites. Many albums had one or two tracks I really liked but I think I had a threshold for non-favourite bands and if most was likely ot be filler I’d buy the singles instead, assuming I didn’t already have them.

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That is a fair point.

Once they are in at their preferential rate, they are difficult to displace when the market shifts and others see an opportunity to add variety to the high street.

That may be - but they haven’t displaced other shops, pushing them out. If anyone’s to blame (and I’m not sure it’s as simple as someone to blame) for high streets losing normal shops and becoming a sea if charity shops and coffee shops, its 1) shoppers not supporting existing shops anx 2) landlords not dropping rent to support shops when there’s an economic downturn.


3) penalising anyone who doesn’t live within walking distance by rubbish public transport and pitifully inadequate parking at punitive charges
4) lower prices and wider choice when shopping on line
5) easily accessible shopping malls with a wide choice of shops for “hands on” purchases such as clothes

I’d love for high streets to recover but I can’t see it happening without radical changes.


But this is the point, they have an advantage, business ebbs and flows, but once in there is no chance for independents. Charity shops clog up an otherwise vibrant Town where I live.

As I said before, that is not their fault - other shops disappeared, or abandoned the town centre. They at least provided some life in the otherwise dead high street. In some places shops have been replaced by flats, so at least if you have charity shops you do have some trade - and premises that one day may change hands.

You seem to blame the charity shops, but as I pointed out in my previous post that blame is wrongly placed (I offered a list of parties where blame might better lie). And you are assuming there are shops wanting now to open up, but unable due to tge abundance of charity shops aa sitting tenants. Is there evidence of that? If there is, then the landlords will be keen to exploit that in due course, though it may take time.


Just like Blue Canary i volunteer in the entertainment section of a Hospice shop and deal with the vinyl. Most donations are of a similar vein, mainly easy listening, country and classical. Rarely do we see classic rock, if we do it sells at once and does fetch a good price. Quality is variable with some collections stored in damp areas. Many LP’s are too damaged and end up in the bin. I grade all LP’s by cover and vinyl and price using discogs and ebay to set a realistic price that charity shop buyers will pay. So far sales have dramatically increased since i have been doing this and now have regulars who buy most weeks as they find my gradings and pricings good. Key is stock cannot stick around like a record shop.
Sadly classical does not sell well despite most being in superb condition.
45rpms are good sellers, sold one via ebay for£67-Katch-22



Do you get first dibs…?!

i wonder if the staff get first choice. so they can buy the good records/books etc.
so the customer is left with Des O.conner. Max Bygraves. David Beckham. Nigella Lawson. Mrs Mills. etc

i find my local oxfam good but the cds and books are not that cheap. I have paid £5 for paperback books.
And £3. For classical cds. But these are all in mint condition.

I do not find the public transport rubbish. I live in greater Manchester and the trams are excellent.

Good to know, but not much help if you live in Bristol and it’s even worse in rural Somerset.


I understand in the rural areas the transport is not so good. Because Manchester is a large city
The transport is quite good.

suppose answer is yes-but rarely use it as would not go down well at home me turning up each week with yet more vinyl and also would not bring in buyers if all good stuff goes before hitting shop floor. tend to put vinyl out in shop and if after a few weeks it has not sold then may well buy it.
Tend to price by median price on discogs and check on ebay. Cd’s are £1 per disc (dbl=£2 etc)

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